The Pros and Cons of Domain Name Privacy and WHOIS Protection

With the digitization of business operations creating a website is rather a basic necessity these days. That means that a domain name is a rather common term to most business/website owners. That is because the domain name registration is a standard procedure in the creation of any internet site. As you approach the end of this process, you are faced with the question of whether or not your site ownership information should be publicly available on the WHOIS network, or should it be kept private for a given fee. The “given fee” part is usually the decision maker for most people, based on the logic that it makes no sense to pay extra for an add-on feature to just a domain name.

That logic may have some ground if you are trying to save on expense. However, once you broaden your analysis to grasp the general advantages and disadvantages of a private domain name, then you might realize that it offers you more good than bad.

But before you get to the merits and demerits of domain name privacy and WHOIS protection you need to know what they entail. First, a domain name is an address for web servers and web pages simple enough to be used to access your site. The WHOIS, on the other hand, is a database that organizes all the data regarding domain registration. All domain registrant information (that is all the information you used in the registration process of your site’s domain name) is considered public information.

That includes; your personal name, address, phone, email and even business name. All that becomes accessible to anyone who knows your registered domain name, which they can enter into any WHOIS search tool on the web and acquire your public information. Making your domain private and using the WHOIS protection, however, masks that information. This article provides you with the pros and cons of domain name privacy and WHOIS protection so that you can analyze and decide whether or not that extra fee is worth making your domain private.
Domain Name Privacy and WHOIS Protection

Pros

The following are the reasons as to why you may want to have your domain name privatized.

Protect Personal and Delicate Information

For a high profile company or a high profile business personality, there is always something that an Eagle-eyed schema could use, from your personal information. Take for instance a high profile firm’s product information is quite delicate. If it falls into the hands of the competition then the business strategy could be destroyed, investments and stock markets could be swayed and the value of shares diluted. For a high profile business personality, your personal information can be quite valuable to an identity thief. The information in the WHOIS domain record is enough for a skilled thief to steal your identity and cause you the trouble that accompanies the crime.

With the domain name privacy and WHOIS protection, the info of your proxy service is what is in provision which is no use to them. Making it quite tactical in staying ahead of the competition and away from thieves.

Preventing Unwanted Solicitors

Spammers, telemarketers, con artists and unwanted sales people use the WHOIS as a starting point to acquire contact information. Newly registered websites are frequent victims of such, which at times escalate to scams such as phishing. That includes malicious attempts by anonymous people to extort new and other site owners for fees or fines that are non-existent. Not to mention the numerous calls and emails that entail SEO services, freelance opportunities, mailing services and a myriad of stuff that you are not even on the lookout for. Using the WHOIS protection in making your domain private the information from your WHOIS directory is filtered by the site host.

Maintains Proper Contact Channels

Sometimes when a client is unsatisfied with the services or products provided by your company, they feel the urge to complain, which is within their right. The problem arises when they address their complaints to the wrong party. In this case being the company owner. Because for some reason it is believed it through that avenue that their grievances may be dealt with. And such clients know that they can acquire the company owner’s personal information through the WHOIS directory. Another instance is when an individual is seeking employment in a company, and they get the notion that stands a better chance of getting the job by calling the firm owner instead of going through the HR department.

Privatizing your domain name registration encourages such individuals to use the proper communication channels since they do not access to your personal information as the business owner.

Cons

The following are the reasons as to why you may not want a private domain name.

The Expense

Given the extra cost to privatize your domain name registration, if you own a couple of websites the expense may be steep. Especially given that for a service such as this that entails protecting your information you would need to part with a few extra dollars per month. So it is in your best interest to consider whether the cost of a private domain name is worth the service, depending on the rates of course.

Your Business’s Legitimacy May Be In Question

Hiding your personal information may be interpreted by some clients as a characteristic of an illegitimate business. That may lead to mistrust and hence loss of customers and potential customers. A study has shown that most customers these days trust peer data and reviews over advertising of the brand.

Alternatives

If you would like to enjoy anonymity yet do not want to pay the extra fee for it, or the pros and cons have you in the balance, and you cannot make a decision, then there are a couple of alternatives that could work for you.

Webmaster Contact Information

You can enter the webmaster’s contact information on the WHOIS registration for your domain name. That way, any spam calls or emails are filtered and handled by the webmaster and your personal information is kept safe.

Proxy Domain Name

You also can purchase one private domain name registration for a single website and use it as a proxy domain name for the rest of your sites. That will save you the expense of having to pay for multiple private domain names.

Use the PO Box and Toll-Free Number

You can use the PO Box and toll-free number in the WHOIS contact area during domain registration. That will save you from spam and protect your company’s delicate information as well as save you the cost that you would incur in registering numerous domain names privately.

Conclusion

The WHOIS database requires you, as a domain name owner to regularly update your information. This aspect can prove to be important in instances such as domain name transfer to a new owner. It is, however, not mandatory that you invest in domain name privacy and use WHOIS protection. Although the pros seem to outweigh the cons, it still lies upon your judgment to determine whether or not it will be worth the fee.

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